Tag Archives: Vietnam

A tale of the past

Mia TanujayaTEXT AND PHOTOGRAPHS  I  MIA P. TANUJAYA

Mia P. Tanujaya, a full time dreamer and reader, is currently working as a marketer in Vietnam. She is fond of teaching and always believes in Nelson Mandela’s quote, “Education is the most powerful weapon to change the world.” It is her dream to travel around the world and write a book about it.


The Japanese Covered Bridge that connected 2 parts of town
The Japanese Bridge is Hoi An’s signature landmark used widely as an emblem of the town. It was built by Japanese merchants in the 16th century. The bridge was originally constructed to connect the Japanese community with the Chinese quarter separated by a small stream of water, a symbolic gesture of peace.

Hoi An, an enchanting ancient town located in Quang Nam province, central Vietnam, was once a major trading port of Southeast Asia in the 16th century. It was previously known by various names—Fayfo, Haifo, Kaifo, Faifoo, Faicfo, Hoai Pho—meaning “peaceful meeting place”.

With the total area of 60 square kilometers, Hoi An has plenty distinct Chinese architecture with low tile-roofed houses and narrow streets, some of the first built ones remained almost intact. This little town is nominated as World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its rich cultural heritage.The entrance to Tan Ky HouseMost of the town’s grand heritage listed buildings date back to French colonial times in the late 19th and early 20th century. The oldest houses have passed four at least 5 generations, and are quite distinct from those of the colonial era. A handful of these older merchant houses are open for visitors. The three top houses to visit are Duc An, Tan Ky and Phung Hung.

Group of Tourist marching the streetHoi An’s old streets are packed with houses dating back to its emergence as an important Asian trading port in the 18th century.

The houses reflect the architectural styles of the major trading partners of the time—China, Japan, as well as the former European occupying force in Indo China, France.

You will be greeted by old yellow buildings with their Chinese-ornamented windows and doors neatly lined up along the small street. Hoi An is not big.

It only consists of a few blocks. But it is also one of so many factors that makes tourists feel immensely satisfied roaming the streets and eager to explore every hidden corner in this small town . Motorists are not allowed to enter the streets in the main area except at certain hours, which makes it a very tourist-friendly place.

The Street at dawnThere is something inexplicable about this little town, something that induces a feeling of longing that chants ” I’m coming…here I am”.

Nostalgic is probably the closest word to describe the feeling. Even if it is the first time you set foot there, you will stop for a moment to take a breath and say to yourself, “I’m home”. You could feel that every wall and corner sing a tale of the past.

The windblow  from the sidelines between a small alley seem to try to gush, “I witnessed a lot of tales from time to time”.

The old man in pajamas and a bowl of magic

Mia TanujayaTEXT AND PHOTOGRAPHS  I  MIA P. TANUJAYA

Mia P. Tanujaya, a full time dreamer and reader, is currently working as a marketer in Vietnam. She is fond of teaching and always believes in Nelson Mandela’s quote, “Education is the most powerful weapon to change the world.” It is her dream to travel around the world and write a book about it.


Lion Dance vietnam

In Vietnam the Mid-Autumn Festival (Tet Trung Thu) is the country’s second most important holiday after the Vietnamese New Year (Tet). Tet Trung Thu usually takes place on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month.

The best place in Vietnam to observe Tet Trung Thu is Hoi An ancient city in Quang Nam province. The town’s Old Quarter is densely packed with shops, thus attracting the lion dancers. The river is teemed with floating lanterns, and the atmosphere is magical.

Flowers for offerings, vietnam

Since the town is so small, groups of lion dancers often encounter each other. They will put on fierce dance battle in an attempt to establish dominance. In the end this holiday is all about fun, and it is great to see groups of people marching and dancing through the streets, following the lion dancers’ way to every stop.

Weather could be quite tricky at this time of the year as wet season approaches, but it would not stop the people from carrying out the tradition. They would still make it through the rain and visitors are excitedly joining in.

the view from inside an old houseFor those who miss the Mid-Autumn Festival, they can always make time on every 14th day of the lunar month which is a Buddhist day of worship. Residents place offerings and burn incense on their ancestral altars and visit one of Hoi An’s many pagodas.

The scent of incense and the sounds of people singing add to the town’s enchanted atmosphere. On the evenings, visitors will get a rare glimpse into another era. These nights are warm reminders of life’s unforeseen beauty.

Cao LauVisitors to Hoi An always remember Cao Lau, which is considered by Quang Nam people as a special symbol for Hoi An. It is rice noodle served with thinly-sliced, soy-simmered pork, crispy fresh lettuce, assorted herbs such as basil, cilantro and mint, and crackly squares of deep-fried flour cracker.

It is said that Cao Lau cannot be made well outside Quang Nam. The secret lies in the water. Authentic Cao Lau is prepared only with water drawn from ancient Cham (ancient ethnic group) wells hidden around Hoi An and across Quang Nam Province.